Ecoamerica SAC failed agriculture project in San Martin, Peru


In 2006 the South Korean company Ecoamerica asked the Peruvian Organismo de Formalización de la Propiedad Informal (COFOPRI) for over 72,000 ha at $.80 an acre. The agency didn't respond to the request, so in 2010 the corporation sued COFOPRI and Superintendencia Nacional de Registros Públicos (SUNARP) de Loreto, citing 'administrative silence'. Administrative battles raged above the heads of the local people, who only heard of the prospective land deal in 2010. Two Shawi communities and one Kechwa community from the district of Pongo de Caynarachi, in the province of Lamas, and the district of Papaplaya, in the province and region of San Martin, Peru and their federation of tribes adamantly opposed the corporation's actions in their land. Although the communities have no official land titles, the land is definitively within ancestral areas and the intended crop production, logging, and livestock operation would severely negatively impact their livelihoods. The communities contested the concession by writing official letters, sending petitions, and holding meetings. In 2011 the Constitutional Court ruled against Ecoamerica, but not before 400 ha was deforested without land titles. The company Ecoamerica SAC is currently listed as 'closed'.

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Basic Data
NameEcoamerica SAC failed agriculture project in San Martin, Peru
ProvinceSan Martin Province
Sitedistrict of Pongo de Caynarachi, in the province of Lamas, and the district of Papaplaya, in the province and region of San Martin
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Deforestation
Land acquisition conflicts
Intensive food production (monoculture and livestock)
Logging and non timber extraction
Specific Commodities
Live Animals
Project Details and Actors
Project Detailsha in tribal lands in Peru at $.80 an acre.

Project Area (in hectares)72,654
Level of Investment (in USD)57,600,000
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date2010
Company Names or State EnterprisesEcoAmerica SAC
Relevant government actorsPeru: Commission for the Formalization of Informal Ownership , Constitutional Court
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersWorld Rainforest Movement (WRM), La Federación Indígena del Pueblo Shawi de San Martín
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingIndigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Forms of MobilizationDevelopment of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Project StatusStopped
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCourt decision (victory for environmental justice)
Project cancelled
Do you consider this as a success?Yes
Why? Explain briefly.Through judicial action and continual pressure by tribal leaders and local communities, the constitutional court rejected ECOAMERICA SAC’s claim to the lands, and the company subsequently closed operations. Additionally, this case is used as an example to strengthen the fight for indigenous land rights in the region.
Sources and Materials

, 'Peru: Land grabbing in indigenous peoples' territories'
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Oficina de Imagen Institucional Corte Superior de Justicia de San Martín, 'Declaran Improcedente Demanda Interpuesta por Empresa ECOAMERICA SAC'
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Dario Ahoria, 'TC declaró improcedente demanda de Ecoamérica'
[click to view]

Media Links

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, 'Perú: Comunidades Shawi asentadas en San Martín demandan tierra segura'
[click to view]

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ContributorAliza Tuttle
Last update24/06/2014